[Graphic] Design Soulmate: Carter Tindall
Small world story. Carter and I met at Wofford in 2011, where we were both members of the very small 'artsy' community on campus. Flash forward two and half years after graduation. This past October, I find out some exciting news:
1. Carter is moving to Houston. (not a common Wofford grad destination!)
2. Carter will be working for my favorite graphic design firm in Houston, Principle. Which means...
3. Carter will be working in the same little brick building as me.
4. And Carter will be moving into an apartment down the street from me.
I was overjoyed to have an old Wofford friend headed to my neck of the woods, but even more excited to have another design friend in the city with whom I could appreciate vintage furniture, velvet, art and good menu typography.
She recently had me over for some cheese and an Aperol Spritz (or two) and told me more about her time at Miami Ad School at Portfolio Center in Atlanta, her favorite portfolio works, and what it's like to work for one of Houston's best graphic design firms.
OKAY, I'M A LITTLE OBSESSED WITH YOUR 'HIGHWIRE' PROJECT. TELL ME MORE.
Highwire was my whiskey branding project. It started with a pencil in hand, paper and a love of sketching, and learning the intricacies of Victorian Lettering. This was followed by many, many more sketches...
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION?
It was inspired by Charles Blondin, the most famous wire walker of the Victorian Era. On his first walk across Niagara Falls, he sat down on his cable and called for the Maid of the Mist to anchor beneath him. He cast down a line and hauled up a bottle of whiskey. He took a swig and began to run after he passed the sagging center. The design embodies the unique balance of precision and theater involved in the art of highwire walking.
WHICH PROJECT IN YOUR PORTFOLIO ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
The project I am most proud of is Frank’s Full Service. The assignment was to create a corporate identity, which seemed vague, but full of possibilities. I knew I wanted to do something totally out of my comfort zone that stood out amongst my other projects. Frank’s celebrates bright colors, bold typography, unique iconography, and an extensive set of collateral.
Named after my dad, Frank’s is a full-service gas station that prioritizes quality workmanship and friendly service. The mission is to remind people of the past, and fuel them for the future. Whether you need gas, service, or refreshments, Frank’s Full Service will help you refuel.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR RESTAURANT PROJECT, ABATTOIR.
Each student selected an art movement to drive the concept and inform the design aesthetic for their restaurant branding project. I selected Cubism. Through the study of Cubist paintings, I learned that Picasso turned to primitive art, specifically African masks, for inspiration. I used this idea—of turning something old into something new—to guide the ethos and the aesthetic of Abattoir.
Nose-to-tail and root-to-stalk are modern trends, but their roots lie in the most primitive way of eating. Abattoir explores adventurous dishes to inspire a movement in which formerly discarded parts of animals are celebrated, and where nothing goes to waste.
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO PURSUE GRAPHIC DESIGN?
At Wofford, each student has the opportunity to spend the month of January on an interim—traveling, participating in an internship, or taking a class on campus. My senior year, I interned with my cousin, Leah Moore, a graphic designer in Atlanta and a Miami Ad School at Portfolio Center alum. Leah told me about her experience at Miami Ad School at Portfolio Center, and we took a quick drive to Bennett Street for a visit. I met with a few of the teachers, sat in on a class and, well, the rest is history.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PAST PRINCIPLE PROJECTS?
All of the Goode Company restaurants. The Principle team did an amazing job paying homage to the beloved Houston staple—refreshing the logo mark and creating an integrated brand system that ensures consistency between the various restaurant concepts. The typography palette for this brand system has such a unique mix that allows for endless typographic play and unexpected combinations.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT?
I’ve had so much fun assisting in the brand creation for a Goode Co. Taqueria concept for Finn Hall, a food hall opening downtown Houston later this year. Stay tuned for breakfast tacos, make your own fajita kits, and a bold and bright color palette.
I'VE HAD A DESIGN CRUSH ON PRINCIPLE SINCE I MOVED TO HOUSTON. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT WORKING FOR PRINCIPLE?
I mean if you really think about it, it’s so simple: I work with people I admire and respect on a wide range of projects I’m passionate about. I have had the opportunity to work on projects for long-term clients like Goode Company and Brighter Bites—and some that are brand new, like the Houston Zoo and Hotel Amparo—A Hotel in San Miguel de Allende opening in the fall.
Good news: you, too, can work for Principle (if you've got what it takes, of course). They're hiring.
Small world story. Principle's founder Ally is married to my husband David's boss, Randy, who co-founded Element Markets, an environmental compliance and sustainability firm. So my friend's boss' husband's employee is my husband. Ha! Not confusing at all. Principle designed Element Markets' branding, too.